With the development of information and communication technologies, telemedicine has been anticipated to improve patient management by accelerating access to appropriate diagnoses and treatments. Telemedicine has also improved the decision-making process in acute situations to compensate for the local scarcity of healthcare resources and to provide access to otherwise inaccessible expertise. It is imperative to demonstrate the value of a telemedicine program at your practice by evaluating its effectiveness. Concise reporting helps to justify continued or expanded investment in telehealth infrastructure and operations. Incorporating strategic planning and measurement will lead to well-developed telemedicine evaluations that bring added value your practice.
We will discuss four components you can utilize to measure the effectiveness of your telemedicine program.
Access to Quality Care
Access to quality care refers to the ability of telemedicine services to effectively deliver clinical services to remote patients and the possibility of providing specialized services such as emergency care. This area of consideration can be subdivided into five groups: affordability, availability, accessibility, accommodation, and acceptability. Questions your practice should consider when evaluating access to quality care include:
- How many claims and encounters are submitted and reimbursed?
- How many patients are retained in treatment on a quarterly, bi-yearly, and yearly basis?
- How many people are using new services?
This category measurements the financial impact and program cost for patients and their caregivers, the care team and the larger health system, insurance providers and other payers, and the larger community. Examples of financial impact and cost measurements include:
- Reduced patient travel miles
- Cost per visit
- Return on investment
Experience is determined by how user-friendly and effective your telehealth program is for patients and their care team. This category also explores the program’s ability to meet patient and provider needs. Some examples of experience measurements include:
- Provider satisfaction with their telemedicine experience
- Clarity of instructions for care to the patient
- Patients demonstrated compliance with their care plan
Effectiveness explores a program’s clinical, operational, and technical aspects. Factors influencing a program’s effectiveness and acceptance include socioeconomic and environmental settings, the type of technology used, and the type of care being delivered. Measures for success include:
- Timely receipt of consultation after provider request
- User-friendly technologies that facilitate providers ability to work
- The extent to which telemedicine is clinically integrated within a care setting
Measure and evaluate your telemedicine program success utilizing these four key areas: access to quality care, financial impact/cost, experience, and effectiveness. Depending on your clinical challenges, setting, patient population, and practice objectives, evaluations components may differ in priority. The earlier and more precisely your evaluation objectives and questions are identified, the more likely your telemedicine program can be evaluated, designed, and implemented in the ways that will help you give useful and credible answers.
If you are planning to deploy or switch to a robust telemedicine program that meets the needs of your practice, receive a live demonstration of digital healthcare solutions provided by iPatientCare and equip your practice with the best. Contact us today.